Curious KGL or English helmet 1807

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  • T. Snorrason
    Neuer Benutzer
    • 21.01.2007
    • 25

    Curious KGL or English helmet 1807

    I have a little puzzle from Denmark.

    Some years ago two "mysterious" headdresses were found in the magazines of one of our small local museums (Bornholms Museum), on the island of Bornholm in the Batltic Sea.

    The one is a black painted stove pipe chakot of leather which has belonged to KGL., and shows that KGL in 1807 wore stove pipe chakots, not Waterloo chakots as is sometimes claimed.

    The other is a leather helmet, which I guess also has belonged to either an English or KGL unit.

    Both headdresses have been "remodelled" locally on the island, so they became "Danish", after which they have been used in some semiofficial function. Local tambourmajor, local police, towncryer, helmet for a local officer of the fire brigade or something like that.

    To make them "Danish" the plate of the KGL has been cut, so only the KGL is shown. Those initials in Danish would clearly be understood by the islanders as the wearer was in a "royal" function. Kgl is in Danish the abrogation for royal, k(on)g(e)l(ig). Further the cocade and plume holder has been removed and the chakot painted once more in black.

    The helmet has been "modernized" with a silvered brass band and brass plate on which is the Danish royal arms pre 1817 over the helmet turban, which seems to have been light blue originally. The plate could come from some then outdated royal servant function, as it also shows the Norweigian lion, and from 1817 it was forbidden to use that, after we lost Norway 1814.

    The finder thinks the helmet has been a Danish dragoon helmet, which is rather unlikely. Enclosed a picture of a Danish draggon helmet M 1796..

    I guess both headdresses originate from 1807 either found after the English left or may be found on the battlefield of Kioge, left by deserters or something like that.

    The KGL chakot is easy to identify, but from which unit is the helmet?

    English light infantry wore a similar crested helmet up to around 1803? And a unit can perhaps still have worn their old headdresses. But did the infantry have leatherhelmets or were they not normally made out of felt?

    If it is not an infantry helmet, then only is left the cavalry and the horse artillery.

    And only KGL had light cavalry regiments on Zealand 1807, the regiments being in a transition period from light dragoons to hussars. As I understand it the 3rd regiment already having got busbies. That leaves only 1st (red facings with yellow buttons) and 2nd (white facings with yellow buttons) light Dragoons/Hussars of KGL.
    One could believe in 2nd Light Dragoons if the original turban is white, and not light blue as claimed.

    Both England and KGL had horse artillery on Zealand, but in that case the turban should be darkblue (black for KGL?) and the fittings brass.

    The helmet is curious - at least to me - as a light dragoon helmet with the rather large rim along the lower part. One should think it impractical in cavalry combat?
    Also the 3 "feather holders” of leather on the left side are strange.

    The following English units were at Zealand 1807.

    British Infantry
    The Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, 1st Battalion
    The 3rd Foot Guards, 1st Battalion
    4th Regiment of Foot (The King's Own Royal Regiment), 1st Battalion
    7th Regiment of Foot (Royal Fusiliers), 1st Battalion
    8th Regiment of Foot (The King's Regiment), 1st Battalion
    23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welsh Fusiliers), 1st Battalion
    28th Regiment of Foot (North Gloucestershire Regiment of Foot), 1st Battalion and 2nd Batallion
    32nd Regiment of Foot (The Cornwall Regiment of Foot), 1st Battalion
    43rd Regiment of Foot (Monmouthshire Light Infantry Regiment), 1st Battalion
    50th Regiment of Foot (West Kent Regiment of Foot), 1st Battalion
    52nd Regiment of Foot (Oxfordshire Light Infantry Regiment), 2nd Battalion
    79th Regiment of Foot (Cameron Highlanders), 2nd Battalion
    82nd Regiment of Foot (The Prince of Wales's Volunteers), 1st Battalion
    92nd Regiment of Foot (Highland Regiment of Foot), 1st Battalion
    95th Regiment of Foot (Rifle Regiment), 1st and 2nd Battalions

    King's German Legion
    1st, 2nd, and 3rd Regiments of Hussars
    1st and 2nd Light Infantry Battalions
    1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Line Infantry Battalions
    1st and 2nd Regiments of Heavy Dragoons
    2 batteries of horse artillery
    4 batteries of foot artillery

    The Royal Horse Artillery
    1 battery of horse artillery (6 pds.)

    The Royal Regiment of Artillery
    3 batteries of foot artillery (6 pds.)
    2 batteries of foot artillery (9 pds.)
    1 battery of foot artillery (12 pds.)
    10 siege-companies:
    30 24 pds cannons
    40 13-8 inch mortars
    10 10-8 inch howitzers

    Any good ideas?

    Ever seen something like the helmet?

    I have tried to ask the British Army Museum, but never got any answer.


    Torstein Snorrason
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